Decentralizing Governance: Emerging Concepts and Practices

Decentralizing Governance: Emerging Concepts and Practices

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Brookings Institution Press

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Decentralizing Governance: Emerging Concepts and Practices

The trend toward greater decentralization of governance activities, now accepted as commonplace in the West, has become a worldwide movement. This international development—largely a product of globalization and democratization—is clearly one of the key factors reshaping economic, political, and social conditions throughout the world. Rather than the top-down, centralized decisionmaking that characterized communist economies and Third World dictatorships in the twentieth century, today's world demands flexibility, adaptability, and the autonomy to bring those qualities to bear. In this thought-provoking book, the first in a new series on Innovations in Governance, experts in government and public management trace the evolution and performance of decentralization concepts, from the transfer of authority within government to the sharing of power, authority, and responsibilities among broader governance institutions. This movement is not limited to national government—it also affects subnational governments, NGOs, private corporations, and even civil associations. The contributors assess the emerging concepts of decentralization (e.g., devolution, empowerment, capacity building, and democratic governance). They detail the factors driving the movement, including political changes such as the fall of the Iron Curtain and the ascendance of democracy; economic factors such as globalization and outsourcing; and technological advances (e.g. increased information technology and electronic commerce). Their analysis covers many different contexts and regions. For example, William Ascher of Claremont McKenna College chronicles how decentralization concepts are playing out in natural resources policy, while Kadmeil Wekwete (United Nations) outlines the specific challenges to decentralizing governance in sub-Saharan Africa. In each case, contributors explore the objectives of a decentralizing strategy as well as the benefits and difficulties that will likely result.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780815713890
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Publication date: 06/28/2007
Series: Brookings / Ash Center Series, "Innovative Governance in the 21st Century" Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 300
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

1. From Government Decentralization to Decentralized Governance
2. Parallel and Partnership Approaches to Decentralized Governance: Experience in Weak States
3. Decentralization and Electronic Governance
4. Local Governments That Perform Well: Four Explanations
5. Political Decentralization in Africa: Experiences of Uganda, Rwanda, and South Africa
6. Devolution toward Democracy: Lessons for Theory and Practice from the Philippines
7. Decentralization, Deconcentration, and Poverty Reduction in the Asia Pacific
8. Fiscal Decentralization and Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations: Navigating a Viable Path to Reform
9. Government Decentralization and Decentralized Governance in Latin America: The Silent Revolution of the Local Level?
10. Devolution with Accountability: Learning from Good Practices
11. Decentralization and Participatory Local Governance: A Decision Space Analysis and Application to Peru
12. Challenges to Decentralized Governance in Weak States
13. Decentralization and Legal Empowerment of the Poor
14. Decentralization to Promote Effective and Efficient Pro-Poor Infrastructure and Service Delivery in the Least-Developed Countries
15. Designing Decentralized Coastal Management Programs
16. Issues and Best Practices in the Decentralization of Natural Resource Control in Developing Countries

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